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TomTom Rider 410 (4 years later)

I have the TomTom Rider 410 for almost 4 years and I use it very often to travel by motorbike and also by car.  I took the “Premium Pack” which offers various extra accessories.

Just a note: the 410 version is identical to the 400 version, the only difference is that TomTom has loaded some motorcycle routes (useless).

LOOK

The device design is very nice, weighs 280g, and gives a feeling of solidity.

The TomTom 410 Rider is designed to be used on motorcycles and is, therefore, is waterproof. I made at least 3,000km with it under the rain and never had a problem.

I am writing from Italy, you will see all my screenshot in Italian.
However, the functions do not change from a country to another

HOW TO MOUNT IT ON THE MOTORCYCLE

Inside, included in the price of the basic version (€ 400), there is the RAM support that allows you to mount it on the handlebars. It easy to stick it on.

However if you have a strange handlebar (like the ones covered with plastic of the scooters) or the half handlebar (like sportbikes) will have to buy a dedicated connection. I would say that for all motorcycles there is a solution designed ad hoc, but inquire before buying.

This is the included connection to put on the handlebar.
It is compatible with most handlebars, but if you have a particular one you have to buy a different connector separately that have the RAM sphere.

Inside the box, there is also a cable to attach it to the motorcycle battery. I didn’t do the battery link.

I use it with the internal battery of the TomTom. It lasts about 4 hours, so on long trips, I load it with the battery pack during lunch break and I am used to turn it on stand-by often.

This is the cable included, you should connect it with the battery of your motorbike

IMPORTANT NOTE

The device can be charged in 2 ways:

  1. With a mini-USB socket directly in the device (not waterproof solution)
  2. From the motorcycle TomTom platform (waterproof solution)

SCREEN

The screen is a 4.3-inch touchscreen. It is not large, but it is fine. A too-large screen would hide the instrumentation on a motorbike.

The screen is the worst aspect of the Rider 400. Why? It is reflective and the brightness is too low!

Trust me, you won’t be able to see anything under direct sunlight during the day! You have to tilt it a lot to see a minimum!

On cloudy days or when the sun is lower (sunrise and sunset), visibility improves. But the TomTom Rider is a motorbike navigator, and the motorbikes are used during sunny days! 

I tried different types of matte anti-reflective films to improve the situation (purchase mandatory), without it is hard to see the screen even on cloudy days!

The touchscreen is slower and not sensitive like a smartphone. But I haven’t tried a fast navigator yet…

You can also use the touchscreen with gloves, as long as they are not too thick. However, writing an address with gloves is almost impossible, but it is useful to do basic selection (like change the view).

SOFTWARE AND UPDATES

The TomTom Rider 400 has lifetime updates of world maps included in the price.

In my version that does not have Wi-Fi, you should update the navigator from your PC. You have to install the TomTom software on your PC

You can decide which maps to install. I have installed only the European maps, but the whole world is available. You can select single countries or entire regions.

The internal memory is 16GB and is more than enough to load all the necessary maps. Consider that the weighs of the maps of entire Europe is around 7GB. 2GB is used by system software, so there are still 7GB free. Even if you want to travel to Asia or Africa there is all the necessary space.

If you want there is also a slot to insert a micro SD. It can be useful if you want to create routes on your PC (from the TomTom software), save them on the micro SD and then put them in the device. I did it some times in the beginning, then it was a little intricate and I haven’t used it anymore.

However, the software of the TomTom 400 is slow. Especially if you compare it with modern smartphones. It is particularly slow the switch on (timed 60 seconds).

Selecting a point of interest (POI) is also complicated because it is too slow. It is like using in 2020 an outdated Android device from 2010.

BLUETOOTH

Unfortunately, I don’t know how it works. I do not like to have earphones inside the helmet. I tried to connect the TomTom to the Bluetooth of my smartphone to check the traffic in real-time. But it doesn’t work. It should be a problem with my Android device (Sony XZ1).

The TomTom has an audio speaker, it is useless on the motorbike, but it is made to use it in the car.

TORTUOUS PATHS

This is one of the most advertised and useless features of TomTom Rider. 

Essentially, when you set a destination, you can set the navigator to do the path with more curves and heigh difference.

The idea is good because often motorcycles are looking for the best streets to drive. However, it does not work. The problem is that too many times I ended up on very damaged secondary roads (I had a BMW R1200S). Many of which even 20km long deviations, and it was difficult to return to the main road. Usually, the path has been excessively long. Again the idea is nice but has to be improved.

PREMIUM PACK – Is it convenient?

In the premium pack, there are 4 extra accessories.

2 ANTI-THEFT SUPPORTS WITH KEY: one is used to prevent someone from detaching the navigator from the support. The other is to prevent the bar from coming off the handlebar. Obviously, both should be mounted. On both of them, there is a small key that is used to unlock them once they are hooked.

I have never used them because so not fit handlebars of sport bikes (there is no physical space to put them). Nevertheless, I think the TomTom anti-theft system is an interesting option. It is not 100% safe, but if you stop to have a drink it is not necessary to disconnect the entire navigator from the motorbike.

NAVIGATION SYSTEM CASE: it is a cloth case to put the GPS navigator. 

CAR SUPPORT: it is the classic GPS car support with suction cup. It has a built-in micro USB socket to charge it without opening the sealed compartment of the navigator. In my opinion, it is very useful. You can mount your TomTom on your car and you can use lifetime updated world maps and all the updated speed cameras. It is also included in the box the power connector for the cigarette lighter socket. As I wrote previously, the TomTom Rider 410 has an integrated speaker; it is loud enough.

The price of the Rider Premium Pack is  € 500 in Italy. The basic version price list is € 400. Does it worth?

The accessories can be purchased separately: the anti-theft kit costs 80 €, while the car kit with case 70 €.

If you are interested to buy one of the two accessories, I recommend you buy the Premium Pack.

OTHER

The TomTom platform attached to the motorcycle can be rotated to move the horizontal-vertical navigator. It is a very easy operation that can be done while driving. Personally, I do not like to see the navigator in the vertical position. So, I didn’t use it.

STILL AGREES TO BUY A MOTORCYCLE NAVIGATOR?

This is the real question. Before I bought the TomTom Rider (4 years ago), I used my smartphone to navigate. It was a Sony Z3 Compact smartphone, a great smartphone, and among the first waterproof phones. I had a textile handlebar case to lock it on the handlebar. 

I was using Google Maps and also the Garmin App (that was working offline). But there were problems with using the phone as a motorcycle navigator:

1) The battery with navigator use lasted very little (2 hours to exaggerate) => PARTIALLY SOLVED     

2) Under the sun, the Sony Z3 overheated and turn off => PARTIALLY SOLVED (newer phones are unlikely to overheat using Google Maps, but it is not impossible)

3) Google Maps was unusable out of Italy, because the roaming tariff in the European Union was very expensive (I bought the Garmin app  because of it) => SOLVED (roaming is now free in the entire European Union)

4) Google Maps did not indicate speed cameras at that time => SOLVED     

5) The smartphones screen were too reflective and with too low brightness, but so is the TomTom 400 screen…     

In a few words, most of these problems has been solved in 2020.

In my opinion, if you do not make many trips during the year and if you are not riding 10 hours a day frequently, it is not convenient to buy a motorbike navigation system. 

You should buy a good quality waterproof handlebar case for smartphone and it is enough (by the way, they were orrible in 2016, now they have a nice design). You should buy also a battery pack to charge the smartphone during the riding breaks. Obviously, you must have a recent smartphone (from at least 2019).

If you travel a lot with the motorbike, I think the navigator can still be useful. In particular, I like the TomTom navigation graphic and how it shows the speed camera alert.

My considerations are related to the high retail price of 400-500 €. If its price was 200 €, I would have recommended it to every biker. 

WOULD I STILL BUY A TOMTOM RIDER 410?

Considering that I am using the motorbike for long travel, I would buy again a motorbike GPS. However, I would not recommend the TomTom Rider 410. Why? The reflective screen.

I went to a shop to see the new TomTom Rider 450 and 500 models, they are evolutions of mine. So integrated WiFi, a faster processor… I hope they have a new screen. Unfortunately, I’m not a journalist and I cannot have one for a test!

Magnus

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